How to stay active in quarantine

Nyah Hughes, Staff Reporter

    With gyms closing down and spring sports being canceled, many people (especially athletes) are unsure how to stay active in quarantine. As one of the few people lucky enough to have somewhat of an at-home gym, I know many do not, and many may not even know how to work out on their own. Having talked to many athletes fresh out of team sports that now have no team to practice with, they explain that exercising at home with no coach or direction can be daunting.

    However, although you’re stuck at home, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get a quick cardio workout in. Running stairs, toe-taps, shuffles, high knees, jump rope, burpees and tuck jumps are all great examples of at-home cardio that don’t take much space and are easily done in a garage or your backyard. Another option for those who are willing is to spend some more outside. The new stay-at-home order that Governor Jay Inslee instated on March 23, states “people can still go for walks or runs outside if they maintain a six-foot distance from others,” according to Fox News. This is amazing for long-distance and endurance athletes, as running and cycling are still viable and fun options for those looking to incorporate a little more movement in their day, along with a little sunshine. Even if it’s just a small walk or hike, a little movement is always a step in the right direction.

    Not only can we maintain our cardiovascular health during the quarantine, but those looking to build or maintain muscle mass aren’t in trouble either. By using things around the house such as gallons of water or milk, heavy cans, backpacks, etc, you can exhaust your muscles without doing crazy high repetitions. Depending on your strength level, you don’t even need extra weight to build muscle, as certain bodyweight exercises can be harder than you would think. Movements like pistol squats, pushups, chin-ups, planks, situps, jump squats, jump lunges and many more can help improve strength as well. Plyometrics are also a great option at this time as well, as it’s another great way to build muscle and burn fat with only your bodyweight. As someone who can get stuck in a rut by doing the same type of training over and over again, at-home training can help provide a new stimulus and variation to our bodies. There are also great resources on the internet (especially Instagram and YouTube) that provide challenging at-home workouts that require little equipment. I would personally recommend Sam Sweeney @mrs.sweendogg, Jeff Nippard @jeffnippard, Natacha Oceane @natacha.oceane and Alene Kennedy @alenefit (Alene actually provides a small free at-home workout guide).

    If you are someone who is looking for more than a bodyweight workout (although I wouldn’t knock it till you try it- I’m looking at you football players) there is cheap equipment that you can pick up at Walmart during your next grocery run, such as resistance bands, dumbells or whatever else you might need.

    Now, I’m not saying that because you’re at home right now you need to be exercising, as I’m sure like many of you, I’ve been spending a lot of my day (probably too much) on the couch. However, every day I make a point to get moving for at least an hour to make sure I stay mentally and physically healthy. You don’t need to work out every day in quarantine, but I do recommend that you do get some movement at least two to three times a week for at least half an hour a day. Despite this recommendation, I don’t want exercise and physical activity to add to your list of stressors. Be good to your body, not just physically, but mentally.